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Aberdeen Press and Journal 20th July 1999

About 200 north Sea consultants met in Aberdeen last night to protest against a Government proposal which
it is feared could have dire consequences for the oil and gas industry.

The source of the widespread concern is the IR35 - measures the treasury says are aimed at cracking down
on tax avoidance but which the lobbying Professional Contractors Group (PCG) argues will also punish the

Addressing the PCG-convened meeting engineer Cliff Grove said: "I don't believe it is an overstatement to
say that if the IR35 went through it would decimate the oil and gas industry".

PCG director David Ramsden said: "The livlihoods of tens of thousands of contractors is at risk by these
proposals, and this is particularly true in Aberdeen wgere there are so many engineers and oil and gas
contractors. If these proposals go through, there will be significant damage to the individuals, the
industry and the economy of the region in general".

PCG, a non-profit organisation representing contractors in the IT and engineering sectors is lobbying to
have the clauses overturned and a consultation procedure instituted to "tackle the real causes of abuse".
It maintains that about 300,000 businesses in the UK will be directly affected by the proposed

The Government's proposals are aimed at clamping down on "disguised employment" where workers exploit the
"fiscal advantages offered by a corporate structure".

The "Friday-Monday" scenario is being targeted where a worker leaves full-time employment on a Friday and
the returns the following Monday as a consultant operating through a limited company, thereby paying less
tax and National Insurance.